Happy Holidays!

Food Drive Barrel

We’re still in Phoenix, and I’ve been staying at a house with no internet access (can you believe it?), but I wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday so we stopped into a Starbucks for a quick web fix.

The image above is from our 2008 Christmas card. That’s our dog, Maggie Moo. You can see the back of the card here.

Happy Holidays!

We’re off to Phoenix

I was hoping to get a few posts out today, but I have been scrambling to get ready to drive to Phoenix for the holidays. We’re leaving first thing in the morning. We’ll be gone until January 2nd, and internet access may be sporadic, so things might be a little light around here for a bit. Happy Holidays!

We’re back in San Francisco

flight from Milwaukee to Atlanta to San Francisco

We made it back from our Milwaukee trip. We had a great time, but the travel home was a bit grueling. Several hours were added to our travel-time because we had to fly to Delta’s hub in Atlanta before heading home. It was about 12 hours from the time we arrived at the airport in Milwaukee to the time we landed in San Francisco. We touched down at SFO at about 2:00am Sunday Morning. We missed the last BART train so we had to take a cab home. We were exhausted. We pretty much slept all day on Sunday to recover.

We had delayed flights. We almost missed our connection in Atlanta. We flew with crying babies, broken video systems, and a guy who barfed all the way to Atlanta. And, just like our trip to Milwaukee, our luggage didn’t follow us all the way home. It stayed in Atlanta, and apparently got left out in the rain as it was soaking wet when it was delivered Sunday night.

I’m not a big fan of flying anyway, but this trip was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had. I did learn 3 important lessons:

  1. Always take your essentials with you on the plane. You may not be seeing your luggage when you arrive.
  2. Anything you put in your suitcase that can be ruined by water should be wrapped in plastic.
  3. Be very suspicious of packages sold by Travelocity. Based on our own experience, and info we got from the flight attendants, Travelocity tends to sell packages that have unrealistically tight transfer times. It’s likely that you, your luggage, or both, won’t have enough time to get to the next plane when you land.

We’re off to Wisconsin

We’re spending Thanksgiving with Anne Marie’s family in Milwaukee this year. We’ll be traveling most of the day tomorrow. We come back on Saturday. I should have access at the hotel, so I may post a few things while we’re there.

UPDATE (11.25.08): We’re in Milwaukee. Too bad our luggage is in Las Vegas. :(

UPDATE (11.26.08): After a quick detour to Atlanta, our luggage has arrived in Milwaukee. The extra clothes are nice, as it’s 20 degrees here tonight.

We’re getting married!

Paul and Anne Marie at Los Dos Molinos, Phoenix, AZ 11-14-2003

In the previous post I mentioned I had some big news to share… Well, we’re getting married! On September 5th, 2008, Anne Marie agreed to be my wife. :)

September 5th was our 5 year anniversary. It was on that date in 2003, that I came up to San Francisco to see her for the very first time. I lived in Tempe, Arizona when we first started dating. We knew each other through a mutual friend. The image above was taken at one of my favorite places in Phoenix, a couple months after we started going out.

I’ve been very happy with Anne Marie, and I’ve known for quite a while that we would eventually get married. I didn’t doubt that, but it never seemed like something I needed to rush into. It was probably about May or June of this year that I started to realize we were coming up on 5 years, and maybe it was time. I had been thinking about proposing on our anniversary, but I have to admit that until my father passed away in August, I was still on the fence. When my father died, it really reminded me that lives can change very quickly, and there’s no sense putting things off that are important. If you do, you may never get the chance. So, I decided September 5th would be the day.

With the date of my proposal set, I now needed a ring. Anne Marie had actually (semi-jokingly) told me a long time ago that if we ever got married, SHE would pick the ring! But, you can’t ask someone to marry you without a ring… that just doesn’t seem right. I debated on what to do. Should I try my luck at picking something nice? Should I give her a ring pop? Should I just go to the hardware store and pick out a nice wire key-ring? As tempting as some of these options were, I decided it would probably be best if I got something, not too horrible, as a placeholder that she could actually wear if she wanted to, while we looked for the real ring. So, that’s what I did.

As September 5th approached, it was NOT looking great to have a special evening out for our anniversary. We were both swamped with work, I couldn’t get reservations at the restaurant I wanted, and I was recovering from a fall I took in the street where I sprained my ankle (but that’s a whole other story). When the day arrived, we actually ended up just going to our Friday-night standby, Chevys. It was very unromantic. As the night went on I decided that this was just NOT the night to propose.

After dinner we came home and watched some TV. I was pretty bummed about the whole thing. I was trying to figure out what my alternate plan was going to be, but as it turns out we had some good luck that night… we were in the middle of a heat-wave here in San Francisco. I know, that doesn’t sound like good luck, especially when you live in a place with no air conditioning, but just wait. Because of the heat, we pulled our mattress down to the lower level of our loft and put it by the sliding door that leads out to our little balcony, to try to keep cool. As we laid there, unable to sleep, we started talking about how I had come up to see her exactly 5 years earlier. She had just moved into this loft, so she had no furniture. We remembered our first kiss, which we had while sitting on the floor that we were now laying on. While we talked, the romantic moment that eluded the evening crept into the scene. I proposed, and all was right with the world.

Of course, the placeholder ring I bought was not even close to the right size. With a little stretching it did fit on her pinky finger though. I tried to do some research online about ring sizes, but apparently there is no relationship between height, weight and ring size. I also tried to look at the one ring she owns. She wears it on her thumb. One day I determined that it fits on my pinky. I thought there must be some magical mathematical formula based on the relationship between her thumb and my pinky that would tell me her ring-finger size. You know, like the square root of the circumference of a concentric pythagorean hypotenuse… theorem. Math obviously isn’t my subject, but it doesn’t matter anyway as there is no relationship between my pinky and her thumb. Oh well, a symbol is a symbol even if it doesn’t fit perfectly.

So, here we are, over two months later… and we have no date set and no real plan yet. That’s pretty typical of us. We know it will be outside, somewhere near San Francisco, and it will all be pretty casual. Neither of us is up for anything too traditional or elaborate. I’ll write more as we figure things out. I’m going to try and not get stressed out about any of the details. The important part is I’m marrying the woman I love and who loves me.

Oh, and after some legwork we did find that perfect ring. It’s made by a woman named, Jennifer Dawes. She does excellent work, and she only uses recycled gold and conflict-free stones. We highly recommend her.

No on 8! Google… you are so on my shit list!

Google Yes on 8 ads

California Proposition 8 seeks to revoke the rights of same-sex partners to get married. I am firmly against Prop 8! I believe in equal rights for everyone!

This morning I read this post on The Dieline, where Andrew Gibbs talks about how Google allowed “Yes on 8” ads to be displayed on his site for California Visitors. I immediately checked my site, and sure enough they were here too. Ironically, they were right next to my post about how Apple publicly condemned Prop 8… and I agreed with them. I immediately took Google ads off of my site.

It’s kind of a strange situation… Google has also publicly condemned Prop 8, but apparently they are still willing to take money to advertise the opposite view. I’m not exactly sure if I should be pissed at Google, or should I praise them for allowing Free Speech on a topic that they don’t agree with. One thing is for sure, I don’t want the ads on my site. I’m a little annoyed that an ad of this nature would be posted to my site without a little more consideration. I don’t put these ads in the same category as random product ads. Google ads will not be back on the site until these ads stop.

If you have a blog that runs Google ads, you may want to check out your site to see just what is appearing. You may need to have someone here in California look for you.

UPDATE: I didn’t realize this, but there is a filter for Adsense that allows you to remove any ads that link to a specific URL. Learn more here. I’m still going to leave the ads off, at least until after the election.

Stephen M. Burd: 1948 – 2008

Stephen Burd playing guitar in Utah, 1977

On August 10th, 2008 my father, Stephen Burd, died in Salt Lake City, Utah from a massive upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage. He was 59 years old.

This has been the hardest post I’ve ever written. It’s been very difficult determining exactly what I wanted to say about my dad, and our relationship.

My parents were divorced when I was very young… I think I was about 3 years old. Throughout my life my relationship with my dad was less than ideal, to say the least. And as an adult, we didn’t see eye-to-eye on a great many things, to the point where we didn’t speak to each other for more than 10 years. We only reconnected again a little over a year ago.

This is the point in the story where I’ve been getting stuck. I’ve written and rewritten this post several times trying to find the right words. Everything I wrote seemed to be saying too much, or not enough, and I kept getting hung up on details from the past that I finally realized just don’t matter anymore. The unfortunate reality is the things that were left unsaid, can now never be said. That’s something I’ll have to live with.

For my own well being, I need to drop the baggage I’ve been carrying around for a long time. Holding on to it won’t do anyone any good. I need to concentrate on the good times we had together… and there were some very good times. It’s unfortunate that it took his death to make me truly realize this.

The only thing that really needs to be said now is, my dad is gone… I love him, and I miss him. I hope he’s in a better place.

The image above was taken in 1977. I think it’s how he would have liked to be remembered.

Vote for me at JPG Magazine :)


I normally only post my photos to my photoblog, but I submitted this image to issue #15 of JPG Magazine, for the Noir theme, and I’m hoping to elicit some votes. :) If you’re a member of the JPG community, and you like my image, please give it your vote. Voting closes on February 15th, 2008.

Description of Noir Theme From JPG Magaine: “The dark and brooding images that evoke everything from films of the past to the haunted streets of the night. Noir is about the black and the white, the grainy imperfection of the world.

Photos submitted to this theme don’t have to be in black and white”

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great holiday and New years. Other than spending Christmas Day at the Emergency Room ours went pretty well. I won’t go into too many details, but Anne Marie (my girlfriend) picked up a nasty virus that was very unpleasant for her. But, she’s doing OK now.

Did anyone make any unusual resolutions? Mine are pretty standard… lose weight, get more organized, keep in touch with friends, etc… and of course, blog more! I’ll actually be posting a few specifics on some of mine in later posts.

For Sale: Apple 17″ Studio Display

Apple 17 inch Studio Display

Now that I’ve settled into my new Macbook Pro, I’ll be selling off some of my older equipment. First to go is this 17 inch Apple Studio Display. I’ll be listing it on Craig’s List or ebay, but I thought I would put it here first.

I bought this display new from Apple about 4 years ago. It’s in great condition. I’ve never had a single problem with it.

I’m asking $100 (usd), which does NOT include shipping. I’ll ship anywhere in the continental US. I estimate shipping will probably be $30-$50. It will be shipped in it’s original box.

The display has a native resolution of 1280×1024, and 2 usb ports on the back. I’m not positive, but I think the usb ports are usb1.

IMPORTANT: This display uses ADC (Apple Display Connector). If your Mac’s video card doesn’t have an ADC port, you’ll need an ADC to DVI converter.

I actually have 2 of these Studio Displays. I’ll be selling the other one sometime soon. If you’re interested in buying one or both, please leave a comment on this post or use the form on my contact page to send me an email.

In addition to these Studio Displays, I’ll soon be selling a Dual 2.0 GHz G5 Powermac (PPC), and a 12″ 1.33GHz iBook (PPC).